The 2021/22 ski season is fast approaching and with restrictions being lifted across Europe, we have our fingers crossed that skiing will go ahead this year. Keen holidaymakers are already starting to book trips to avoid limited availability later in the year.
So, how are countries coping with the pandemic currently and are things almost back to ‘normal’? Here’s the latest COVID-19 and travel news for key ski destinations.
(Please note, the information in this article is accurate as of August 20, 2021.)
COVID-19 cases in France have plateaued over the past week. As of August 20, the number of cases in the last 7 days per 100,000 people stands at 242.9, far less than the UK’s number of 314.
So far, an estimated 46 million French people (66.8% of the population) have had at least one vaccination and just under 39 million are fully vaccinated.
Life in France is fairly ‘normal’ now, with restrictions lifted on all establishments and open-air events allowed to resume. Facemasks remain obligatory in all public indoor areas, although it is no longer a requirement to wear a mask in outdoor public spaces, with some exceptions including markets and stadiums.
Despite establishments opening as usual in France, a ‘health pass’ has been introduced. This is needed to show that you have been fully vaccinated, had a recent negative COVID-19 test or have antibodies and is required to access most places, including bars, cafes, restaurants, shopping centres, hospitals, planes and long-distance trains.
If travelling from the UK, France has now moved to the ‘amber’ list, meaning that fully vaccinated visitors do not need to quarantine on arrival or return. However, on arrival fully vaccinated visitors need to present an International Travel Certificate, a ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) and a negative PCR test taken in the last 24 hours.
On return to the UK, you’ll need to show a negative test taken in the last 3 days and book one for 2 days after your return to the UK. You’ll also need proof that you have been double vaccinated, and you’ll need to fill out a passenger locator form to declare this.
COVID-19 cases in Italy are currently lower than in most European countries. As of August 20, they recorded 72.4 cases in the last 7 days per 100,000 people. This is lower than the UK (314), France (242.9), Spain (180.6), Portugal (158.9) and others. However, infections are reportedly increasing.
Italy has administered at least 74,556,087 doses of COVID vaccines so far. This is enough to have fully vaccinated about 61.8% of the country’s population.
All Italian regions are now in the ‘White Zone’. Throughout the pandemic, restrictive measures have been divided according to each regions risk level, differentiated by the colours white, yellow, orange and red – the lowest risk zone being white. However, it’s thought that the regions of Sicily and Sardinia could be at risk of moving into the yellow tier soon.
Like France, Italy has introduced a ‘Green Pass’, which is designed to prove that you are either fully vaccinated, tested negative for COVID-19 or have antibodies. It’s needed to dine indoors at restaurants, cafes, bars, as well as to access gyms, museums, cinemas, theatres, arenas, stadiums, as well as private celebrations.
Italy is on the UK’s ‘amber’ list, meaning that fully vaccinated travellers do not need to isolate on return to the UK. However, to enter Italy, you must present a negative test taken within the last 48 hours and then isolate for 5 days, taking another test at the end of the isolation period. These requirements are currently in place until at least August 30.
COVID-19 cases in Spain are currently lower than the UK and France. In the past 7 days, 180.6 cases were recorded per 100,000 people.
Around 75% of the population have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 64% (30 million) have been fully vaccinated. The Spanish government is now making plans to offer vaccinations for those aged between 12 and 17 before the end of the summer.
Spain is largely free of restrictions; however, some measures are being reintroduced in some areas as cases start to rise among the young and unvaccinated. In Catalonia and Valencia, for example, social gatherings are limited to 10 people and a new curfew between 1am and 6am has been introduced.
Spain is welcoming all visitors from the UK, with the requirement to provide either a negative COVID-19 test or proof of full vaccination. Spain is on the UK’s ‘amber’ list, so there’s no need to isolate on return to the UK if you’re fully vaccinated. However, like with Italy and France, you will need proof of a negative test before you arrive in the UK, you’ll need to book a test for day 2 after you arrive and provide proof that you’re fully vaccinated.
COVID-19 cases in Switzerland are also lower than France and the UK, with 188.8 cases per 100,000 people recorded over the last 7 days. However, the country has experienced a recent spike in infections.
50.6% of the population have been fully vaccinated, however, the vaccination programme has been lagging in recent weeks and infections have been on the rise. Switzerland’s Federal Department of Public Health has since launched a campaign to convince people to get vaccinated.
Life is fairly normal in Switzerland at the moment, with all establishments open. Mask wearing is still required in most indoor venues and on public transport, and a COVID-19 certificate is required for entry to clubs.
Switzerland is now letting in fully vaccinated visitors from the UK without the need to isolate on arrival. However, you will need to show a negative PCR test and provide proof of vaccination.
If you are not fully vaccinated, there are a set of requirements you will need to meet to enter.
Start looking for your ski property today
To get the process of buying your ski property underway, why not take a look at our handy ski property buying guides? They lay out the buying journey step by step to make the process as smooth and hassle-free as possible.